President Trump Tirade Comments: Déjà vu! -By Femi Amosun

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“We‘re subjected to Trump’s ignorant, racist views of anyone who doesn’t look like him” Hillary Clinton

The international outburst that followed Trump’s reportedly comments referring to some African countries as “shitholes” is testimony to the fact that the whole World has not lost it dignity and human value. Perhaps, we should take solace that the UN swiftly reacted and called the President’s comments “shameful and racist”. The AU (African Union) also moved swiftly and denounced his negative comments as “unfortunate and lack of understanding of Africa and Africans”. In addition, Mozambique recalled its Ambassador to the U.S.A. I would have thought that other African countries would follow the good example of Mozambique. This President is also been quoted as saying that Nigerians in the United States do not want to go back to their “Huts”. A Yoruba legendary adage has it that Ojo nla to ro, to pa alapa, lo mu eiyele di ohun amugun fun adie.

I have been following the U.S.A Presidential elections, and its intricacies, and successive Presidents, since 1988. I’m drawn to its principles of egalitarianism and tolerant form of society. However, President Trump’s deprecating comments should not be dismissed as mere flippant comments or misrepresentation. The truth of the matter is that his comments neatly annex to his deportment including the immediate “Executive Order” banning some Muslim countries from entering the United States; deportation of some Nigerians (a fellow Nigerian explicitly narrated his ordeal in the hands of American Immigration Officers, Nigeria Premium Times, March 10, 2017); and the systematic introduction of draconian immigration rules aimed at defoliating “Immigrants” from the United States. President Trump’s alleged xenophobic comments are reminiscent of the ways and manners Africans are being treated in “civilised” countries. In essence, the alleged derogatory and racist comments made are causal expression of the inherent negative feelings and biases towards Africans. It’s not a crime to be Nigerian; it isn’t a crime to be African.

As Africans we must not shy away from reminding this President that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Africans including Nigerians were shackled with chains and padlocks and forcefully shipped to the United States of America where they were forced into slavery and subjected to repression, hard labour and perpetual denigration. They perished in slavery. Although slave trade was abolished in 1870, the shameful legacies of slave owners still lives on.

As a graduate of International Business, l cannot be unlearned to the threats of Protectionism Policy and the abiding rhetoric which may harm well-established trading arrangements between Africa, United States, and others. The Mercantilism, the trade theory that formed the foundation of economic thought from about 1500-1800, held that countries should export more than they import in order to receive the value of their trade surpluses in the form of gold from the country or countries that ran deficits. In a more elaborative form, the pure theory of international trade can be traced back to Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) when he argued that all nations would benefit from unregulated, free trade that would allow individual countries to specialize in goods they were best suited to produce because of natural advantages. It follows that since the end of the Second World War, United States has consistently use the principal tools of foreign trade policy, tariffs, quotas, exchange control and indirect tariffs to develop and improve the aggregate economic well-being of its nation.

NAFTA, Single European Market (1992), ASEAN, ECOWAS, OPEC, and others are all formed to foster trade and economic relationships and remove or reduce barriers between markets within the regions, leading to market growth. The WTO, which succeeded the GATT Uruguay Agreement, provides more rapid settlement of trade disputes and acts as a global trade policeman. Evolving from the trade policy is the oil trading terms of OPEC countries. At the height of its power in 1973 OPEC produced 54 per cent of the world’s crude oil. We have also witnessed the unprecedented impacts of multinational companies and globalisation. All of the above illustrates the importance of liberal trade policy in this diverse world economy. Interestingly, the Foreign Trade Statistics from the United States Census Bureau stated that, in 2017 Nigeria exports to the United States were $1.9bn whilst imports accounted for $6.5bn.  In 2014, McKinsey and Co. predicted that Nigeria had the makings to grow 7.1 percent yearly until 2030 and build a $1.6 trillion economy. In March 2016, PwC also published a report, “Nigeria: Looking Beyond Oil,” that places the Nigerian economy to the top 10 in the world by 2050 with a projected GDP of $6.4 trillion. Despite all these staggering statistics Nigeria is referred to as “Shithole”

We have also witnessed a situation in the UK whereby the last coalition Government, led by David Cameron, hired promotional Van which drove around London with large posters telling illegal immigrants to go home or risk been arrested and deported. The former Prime Minister is also widely known for his dishonourable comments in which he called Nigeria “fantastically-corrupt” country. When one consider the facts that a former Nigerian Governor was jailed in the UK for money laundering. Another ostentatious former Minister of Petroleum is now languishing in the UK awaiting trial for money laundering and other financial impropriety. We’re so unfortunate to have people who lack common decorum and virtue in positions of authority?

Let me accentuate the fact that we cannot really blame these western-World leaders for treating us with disdain and high-level of superciliousness when our political office holders and other public officials perpetrate financial crimes and corruption of monumental proportion. Western-World leaders also know that a tiny proportion of the populace is being paid for doing absolutely NOTHING, which is detrimental to the development of the African continent. They are aware of the power scrimmage and recklessness of our public officials. Secondly, African leaders are perceived as too weak, enthusiastically-willing to compromise and too fragmented to mount any serious challenge against reprehensible comments and rhetoric. Thirdly, they are aware of our irrational quest for foreign goods which in turn boost up their economy. They know that many Africans are delusional in their quest for greener pasture, which is a figment of imagination and unreal in its entirety. In the current climate of hostility, many Africans who had embarked on the treacherous journey to Europe ended up in Libya where they were enslaved and sold as slaves. Many had perished in the Mediterranean Sea. The few ones that reached Europe are now confronted with the reality of deep-seating prejudice, racial discrimination, and inhumane treatment. Where then is the greener or golden pasture?

Equally important, our obsession with social media and the compulsive use whereby many Nigerians and Africans are loosely posting negative comments and explicit images of all sorts have given the West the golden opportunity to collect and store unsolicited data, and gather intelligence. The implication is that this pure intelligence can be used against us or in the event of any psychological warfare.

Let me also enunciate the urgent need for Nigerians and Africans to begin to understand that times have changed and it is no longer open-door in the United States, Europe, UK, and Asia. All the huge amount of money being spent on seeking golden pasture; migrating, going to holy lands or holiday abroad should be invested to develop our own country. It is high time for African Governments to wake up to the reality of a new dawn and start the process of genuine development particularly in technology, commerce and political evolution. These leaders should be dealing with issues or factors that technically prevent us from moving forward.

Femi Amosun is a social observer.

Tagged:
President Donald J. Trump, Africa, Femi Amosun

 

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One Response to President Trump Tirade Comments: Déjà vu! -By Femi Amosun

  1. President Trump Tirade Comments: Déjà vu! -By Femi Amosun
    Very interesting article which hit the nail on the head, we can only hope that our so-called leaders will listen and change their ways and start the process of real development and not pursuant of personal interests at all cost. Africa shall rise one day.

    ID Hsoyege
    January 22, 2018 at 11:59 am